This is a classic middle eastern salad, traditionally served as part of the mezze, which is kind of like tapas in Spain or “drinkin’ snacks” in my house. Don’t tell the sheik, but I eat it for breakfast, too. That’s right, with yogurt! What the fudge?! — That’s crazy! — I know!
It’s a wheat grain-based salad that uses bulghur (or bulgur or bulgar), also sometimes called cracked wheat (although they are not exactly the same thing). What it is though, is wheat grains that have been parboiled, dried, and then cracked into small pieces. Since it’s already cooked, all you have to do is rehydrate it. It’s easy to prepare and it’s a whole grain. What’s better than that? — A million dollars? — Okay. Agreed.
Anyway, tabouli (or tabouleh) is a great thing to take to a potluck for a change of pace from the usual mayonnaise-fests. It’s light and fresh and goes great with spicy barbecue-sauced meats or grilled seafood. PLUS (and this is very important to me) you can add other vegetables you may have on hand and while I suppose you couldn’t really call it tabouli anymore, everyone will call it “super delish”! Double plus, it gets better the longer it sits in your ‘fridgerator, unlike the aformentioned mayonnaise-fests.
- 1 cup medium-grind bulghur (might be labeled as #2 grade)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup each diced tomato and cucumber
- ½ cup diced onion (soak in ice water to crisp it and mellow it) or green onions (don’t need to soak those)
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- ¼ cup chopped mint (or cilantro or dill if mint isn’t available)
- For The Dressing:
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil (it really does make a difference in this case)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
- Mix the bulghur and water in a bowl and cover. Let it sit about 15 minutes, or as long as it takes you to cut up everything.
- Cut up everything.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together.
- Mix the bulghur and vegetables and herbs.
- Pour the dressing over it all and mix well.
- Let it sit about an hour for flavors to blend.
- Eat it.
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